Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, says: “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; who desires all people to be saved and come to full knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:3-4). And Peter also declares the same, saying: “The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some count slowness; but is patient with us, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). But Paul goes beyond, saying: “For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we have set our trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe” (1 Tim. 4:10).
In order to facilitate the entrance of men in the eternal and celestial kingdom, God decreed grace, in other words, forgiveness of sins to all men in Jesus Christ: “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men” (Titus 2:11). “The times of ignorance therefore God overlooked. But now he commands that all people everywhere should repent” (Acts 17:30). This saving grace began in Jesus. How was the situation like before him?
Before Christ the situation was like this:
1. “Jehovah was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him in his heart. Jehovah said, ‘I will destroy man whom I have created from the surface of the ground; man, along with animals, creeping things, and birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them’” (Gen. 6:6-7).
2. “Judah took a wife for Er, his firstborn, and her name was Tamar. Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of Jehovah. Jehovah killed him. Judah said to Onan, “Go in to your brother’s wife, and perform the duty of a husband’s brother to her, and raise up seed to your brother. Onan knew that the seed wouldn’t be his; and it happened, when he went in to his brother’s wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest he should give seed to his brother. The thing which he did was evil in the sight of Jehovah, and he killed him also” (Gen. 38:6-10).
3. “Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer, and put fire in it, and laid incense on it, and offered strange fire before Jehovah, which he had not commanded them. And fire came forth from before Jehovah, and devoured them, and they died before Jehovah” (Lev. 10:1-2).
4. Moses, when called by Jehovah, left Midian and returned to Egypt with his wife Zipporah and his little son, Gerson. And, while Moses was at an inn, Jehovah wanted to kill the son of Moses, because he was not circumcised. Zipporah, upset, took a sharp stone and circumcised the boy (Ex. 4:24-25).
5. If someone afflicted a widow or an orphan, Jehovah would kill that person, so that person’s wife would become a widow and his children, orphans (Ex. 22:22-24).
6. When the twelve spies returned, they were sent to spy the land of Canaan, and ten of them discredited the land, and only Joshua and Caleb praised it. Jehovah was filled with fury and decided to reject the people, that is to say, all Israel, saying that only Joshua, Caleb and the younger children would enter the Promised Land. He killed all the rest in the desert (Num. 14:28-31,34).
7. As Moses had always been beside the people (Ex. 32:10-14; Num. 14:11-20), Jehovah killed him so that he would not go into the Promised Land. Moses revealed this, saying: “Also Jehovah was angry with me for your sakes, saying, ‘You also shall not go in there’” (Deut. 1:37). And he said it with an oath (Deut. 4:21). And his death promised by Jehovah took place in Deut. 34:1-5. He even delivered his body to Satan (Jude 9).
8. The sons of Eli, the high priest, were evil and corrupt. Jehovah accused Eli of letting his sons go without admonition, but in reality, Eli was old, already, and he had admonished his sons. However, they did not listen, because Jehovah wanted to kill them (1 Sam. 2:22-25). In the end, Jehovah shut their ears because he wanted to kill them.
9. “And it happened, when Pharaoh would hardly let us go, that Jehovah killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man, and the firstborn of animal. Therefore I sacrifice to Jehovah all that opens the womb, being males; but all the firstborn of my sons I redeem” (Ex. 13:15). Undoubtedly, Jehovah was not interested at all in saving the Egyptians; and before he sent Moses, he devised the murderous plan (Ex. 4:21-23). For, if Jehovah was the one who had hardened them, he could not kill the firstborn when Pharaoh hardened himself. What Jehovah did was a crime.
10. Words of Jehovah: “Therefore I have cut them to pieces with the prophets; I killed them with the words of my mouth. Your judgments are like a flash of lightning” (Hos. 6:5). The purpose of Jehovah is to kill.
11. “Ephraim is struck. Their root has dried up. They will bear no fruit. Even though they bring forth, yet I will kill the beloved ones of their womb” (Hos. 6:5). Jehovah kills innocent children.
12. Amos prophesies to Israel at the command of Jehovah: “I sent plagues among you like I did Egypt. I have slain your young men with the sword, and have carried away your horses; and I filled your nostrils with the stench of your camp, yet you haven’t returned to me” (Amos 4:10). Violence is the smith that produces criminals. Only love builds up.
13. “For Jehovah is enraged against all the nations, and angry with all their armies. He has utterly destroyed them. He has given them over for slaughter. Their slain will also be cast out, and the stench of their dead bodies will come up” (Is. 34:2,3).
14. Jehovah does not want to save all men, as the Father does.
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira